How to Separate Yourself From The Competition - Otherwise Known As The Articulated Sales Argument
Hello Again! It’s Jim DuBois with WindowWashingWealth.com.. You know, making money in this business is not hard. It just takes a dream, an action plan, some basic business fundamentals, and one other commodity – an articulated sales argument. If you want to rise above the rest, demand the highest prices for your services, and have a company outside perception as the best company to do business with in your area, you MUST learn how to separate yourself from the competition.
The first and most important element in a successful window cleaning business is the Articulated Sales Argument or ASA. Some refer to this as a USP – Unique Selling Proposition. If you’ve been to one of my break-out sessions at the IWCA or Huge Convention I consistently refer to this as an important game-changer. In a nutshell, the ASA is the argument you build, the case you design, and the reasons you give why a prospect should do business with you. Your ASA should distinguish your business from all other competitors.
It will make you the obvious choice and lead prospects to the conclusion:
"I would have to be an absolute fool to do business
with anyone but you…regardless of price."
In other words, it is a very precise statement that explains why your company is special and why YOU can provide greater value to your clients than any other window cleaner in your area. Your ASA should answer this question…
“Why should I do business with you instead of your competitors?”
I am not only going to introduce you to the concept, I am going to help you implement the underlying principle in a systematic way in your business.
An ASA Will Raise Your Business Above The Noise
Take a look at an old yellow pages or do a common google search and you will find pages of ads for nearly every given product or service. Each ad seems to shout the same thing: "best, cheapest, honest, friendly service" and many other empty words.
We call this condition NOISE and it is one of the primary reasons for the prospect’s Confidence Gap. This condition is not exclusive to the yellow pages or google, it is in every aspect of marketing and advertising. How then can a prospect determine which, if any, of the offers is the greatest deal? Generally speaking, they cannot. The result is a prospect calling the first few ads then going with the lowest price.
You may be aware that in our industry lowest price does not always reflect the best deal, the best service, or the best experience. You can probably name a competitor or two that offer a lower price than you. You can probably also identify how buying from your competition would result in less value for the same money spent.
The successful window cleaning company is not a bottom feeder and does not compete on price… ever. Either you “hang” with the low-ballers or you “hang” with the high-rollers. In fact in my area, I’m the highest priced residential window cleaning service and am also the busiest. The successful window cleaning company has the highest prices and consequently serves the best customers where it’s not all about the money. It’s about the service and getting what they paid for.
But, the challenge most “successful” window cleaning companies have is getting the word out, convincing, showing the prospect that you are not like all the rest. Problem is, how do you do that, how do you separate yourself? You do so by having compelling ASA’s.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself.
Does your marketing make your value clear to the prospect?
Does your website make the value clear?
Does the inbound call and the outbound call make the value clear?
Do your emails and email blast campaigns make the value clear?
Does your estimator make the value clear?
These are important questions that if answered appropriately and if implemented will begin the separation process.
Build A Case For Your Service Like An Attorney Would
Envision your marketing situation as a court case - your prospects are the jury, you are the defendant and you must prove to them without a doubt that your window cleaning service is the most practical alternative amidst all the competition. Now remember: this is a life or death situation. And jail time could result!
Under these circumstances, are you going to settle with a defense that says, "we're better, we're cheaper, we're professional, or we've got better service"? Right? Of course not! That’s what everyone says. You are going to probe your jury to know what they will be sympathetic to and respond to. You are going to give substantial, quantifiable evidence to back yourself up.
Once you have gathered this information about your business or developed your ASA, marketing becomes incredibly easy. You will have the entire framework for any marketing and media you will ever need to create for your business. In effect, you will have defined the "something good to say" or the “Inner Reality” of your business..
Once you have this clearly defined, you are ready to work on this "Outside Perception" or the mechanics of "saying it well." I have organized a bullet list to help you gather and organize the information you need to build a strong case for your business.
Not Having an Articulated Sales Argument
…and you will be no different or no better than your competition. As we all know in our industry, business can be fierce making it difficult to differentiate one company from the next. If you do an online search under window cleaning you’ll notice that just about every ad and website says basically the same thing. If you can find a company that is able to differentiate themselves from all the clutter, then that company certainly has an advantage when it comes to attracting more clients.
Tip: Don’t be like all the rest!
In other words, when a potential customer is deciding on whether or not to use your company, which one of these phrases will they say?
- “They’re just like all the rest.” or
- “Well, no one can say that...”
See what I mean? Think about it. How many times have you said “Well, no one can say that?” about other service providers that may have done work at your home? Probably not very many because most businesses have no clue how to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
How to decide on your ASA…
I’m going to give you some tips on creating your own ASA’s for your window cleaning company. You need to really spend some time thinking on this...don't rush it. What is it about you, your company that really makes you different? The key is to determine what really makes your company stand out from all of your competition.
- It could be that you, the owner of the company, are personally involved in every job that your window cleaning company does.
- It could be that you only provide one specific service and only offer it in a very specific area of town.
- It could be that you offer the strongest most compelling service guarantee in town.
- It could be that you use only the newest, cleanest and finest equipment available.
- It could be that everyone in your company speaks English.
- It could even be that you are the only company in town that offers a rain guarantee.
- It could even be that you are the only company in town that offers a gift card guarantee to a restaurant if they do not receive their estimate within 3 business days.
- Guaranteed on time or…
- 100% perfect job or…
- Only company in town that…
- Often compared to…
- Even The Ritz Has a Hard Time Competing At Our Service Level!
- It could be that you are number one on a specific review site in your area.
You get the idea. Make it compelling and impactful. In every case, choose your words wisely. For example…
- “The only company in the entire Detroit area to have more Google and Facebook 5 Star reviews than any of our competitors.”
- “Absolutely 100% guaranteed streak free or your money back (or double your money back)”.
Here’s one of mine…
- Rated #1 in Angie’s List “A” Ratings Nationwide: 1,000 +!”
Whatever it is, make certain that your ASA statement comes through in everything that you do. Scratching your head? No need to worry. Try talking to your clients. See what they really like about you and what they like about doing business with your company. Find out what else they would like from you - even find out about what they don't like about doing business with you. This can be a very eye-opening experience and can shape your company’s future, so don't take it lightly. Carefully consider what you learn from your clients. What is important to them and what can you learn from it? We do this by sending a survey to every residential customer we do business with. The feedback can be surprising and is always worthy and helpful.
The key is to answer your client's wants and needs in your ASA. Think about what they are thinking, what their wants and needs are. Then narrow it down to 1 to 3 sentences and use it in all of your marketing and promotion endeavors, and also in your everyday conversations with customers. Then, back it up and deliver, deliver, deliver. And ‘live’ your ASA in all that you do.
Jim DuBois is founder of Squeegee Pros, Inc. out of Mooresville, NC and is the creator of WindowWashingWealth.com. Visit the site for a FREE MARKETING REPORT, BUSINESS BUILDING MANUAL, and AUDIO CD. Window Washing Wealth is a coaching program that specializes in aggressive marketing tactics, systems implementation, and growth trajectory execution – all leading to market domination on auto-pilot. We are changing the way window cleaners do business. Email questions you’d like to see answered in this column directly to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-799-0313.